5 Reasons Your Watch Stopped Working

Dead Battery

A battery that is dead? It could be why your watch has stopped working. Been using the battery for a while? It just may not be able to hold a charge anymore. Need to replace it.

A power surge or power outage? That may have drained the battery. So, replacing it is the first step to getting your watch going again.

Signs of a dead battery

Your watch may have stopped working for various reasons. However, one of the most common reasons is a drained battery. Don’t worry, you don’t have to replace the watch. Just replace the battery and you’ll be good to go!

Here are signs that your watch needs a new battery:

  • Timekeeping is not accurate.
  • The second hand stops or stutters.
  • The digital display is dim or blank.
  • Your watch won’t start after multiple attempts to reset it.
  • Corrosion is visible inside the case.

How to replace a dead battery

Replacing a dead battery isn’t so hard. Check your car’s manual for instructions and use the right battery.

  1. First, disconnect negative/ground cable with a wrench or pliers.
  2. Then remove positive/power cable and any holding hardware.
  3. Carefully lift out the old battery- don’t tip it!
  4. Inspect the new one for damage.
  5. Put it in the same way and secure it.
  6. Connect negative/ground cable first, then positive/power cable. Make sure all connections are secure.
  7. Finally, start the engine. All should be good and you’re ready to go!

Loose Connections

Is your watch not working? Loose connections may be the reason. The movement needs to get power from the battery. If the connections aren’t secure, the movement won’t receive the power. Result? The watch won’t work.

Let’s check other causes too:

  • Battery may be dead.
  • The movement may be damaged.
  • The hands may be stuck.
  • The crown may be loose.
  • The crystal may be cracked.

Signs of loose connections

Check the internal parts of a watch that won’t work. Especially digital watches as they require a strong connection. Signs to look for:

  • Display not working?
  • Buttons unresponsive?
  • Hands not functioning?
  • Ticking sound not consistent?
  • Battery quickly dying?

How to fix loose connections

If your watch isn’t working, examine the connections. This might fix the problem. Here are five steps to check for loose connections:

  1. Check battery connections. Make sure they are secure. If they are loose, tighten them.
  2. Check the back cover screws. Make sure they are secure. Use a screwdriver if needed.
  3. Check the crown and stem. Ensure they are secure after reassembly.
  4. Check other structural elements. Look for signs of wear or tear. Secure with glue or tape if needed.
  5. Check the gasket. Make sure it is not too loose. Don’t let liquid get in the casing.

Corroded Parts

Why do watches stop working? It’s often because of corroded parts. Metal parts are used in many watches, and as time passes, they can corrode. This causes the parts to become stuck, and unable to move.

To avoid this, here’s what to know: why watch parts corrode, and how to prevent it.

Signs of corroded parts

Corrosion can occur on components made of metal. It happens when metal meets oxygen, making an oxide layer. You can spot corroded parts with these signs:

  • Rust spots or discoloration.
  • Soft and spongy texture.
  • Heavy corrosion buildup.
  • Cracks or radiating lines.
  • Brittleness and breaking.
  • Uneven surfaces.

How to clean corroded parts

If your watch is no longer functioning due to corrosion, you need to clean the corroded parts. Corrosion is caused by air and moisture reacting with metal and forming an oxidation reaction. This reaction leaves a film on exposed surfaces, which needs to be removed for the watch to work properly again. Here are some ways to clean your corroded watch parts:

  1. Gather the necessary supplies: clean cloths, soft-bristle brushes, mild detergent (such as soap or liquid laundry detergent), safety goggles, gloves and denatured alcohol.
  2. Put on safety goggles and gloves before handling the parts. Corrosive materials can be dangerous if not handled correctly.
  3. Before cleaning, make sure to remove dirt and debris from the surface of each part. A gentle brush should do unless there are thick layers of corrosion present. In this case, use more pressure or alternate cleaning methods like rubbing alcohol through a cotton swab.
  4. Mix mild detergent with water to create a solution. Do not apply this solution directly on the components. Instead, use clean cloths soaked in the solution to wipe away remaining dirt and debris. Then use rubbing alcohol through a cotton swab for tougher areas. Rinse off with clean water afterwards.
  5. Let all of these elements sit on each corroded surface. After that, apply denatured alcohol directly to the affected area of each part. Dab around the exact region and avoid contact between other pieces. Leave untouched until dry.

Malfunctioning Movement

Your watch may have stopped working for many reasons. A common one is a faulty movement. This is the part inside that drives the hands round. If it breaks, your watch won’t be telling the right time.

Knowing the symptoms and causes of the problem helps you work out what’s wrong and how to fix it.

Signs of a malfunctioning movement

Malfunctioning movement signs can be split into two groups. Mechanical signs, like additional noise or friction, can show a mechanical problem. Visible signs, on the other hand, point out a minor issue. To accurately identify and solve the issue, it’s important to check both types of signs with a watchmaker.

  • Mechanical Signs: A watchmaker will use their expertise and dedicated tools to manually examine the components of the movement. This includes increased resistance when turning the crown, setting the time sluggishly, strange sounds from the movement, or malfunctioning chronograph functions.
  • Visible Signs: Owners may spot visible signs due to their knowledge of the watch’s usual state and operation. This can include hands that don’t reset after winding, inaccurate timing with the stopwatch, or unexpected stops and jumps when running. Even if minor movements are not seen, a watchmaker inspection will often reveal them as they usually don’t come from major malfunctions.

How to repair a malfunctioning movement

Repairing a malfunctioning movement can be tricky. It requires tools and knowledge. There are various methods to fix it, depending on the issue. Common solutions include lubrication, cleaning, or replacing broken parts. If the movement has major damage, or you don’t know how to fix it, consult a professional watchmaker.

Lubrication is the first step. Check your handbook/manual to see which areas need oil, and which type to use. Thin oils are for parts that need friction like wheel pivots & index plates. Thicker oils are for anti-friction parts like jewel bearings & mainspring barrels. Don’t use too much; lubricate without blocking any passageways or gears.

Next, clean all internal components. Clean each one with an appropriate solution, like mineral spirits or an ultrasonic cleaner. Remove rust from screws & other metal components. They must work for the mechanism to work.

Sometimes parts need replacement due to wear & tear. Get caliber specific parts from bracelet makers or specialist suppliers. Calibrate the movement if necessary. Return it to its case. You’ve restored it!

Damaged Winding Mechanism

Is your watch’s winding system mechanical? It might be damaged or deteriorating. It’s the most crucial part of a watch, as it keeps it ticking!

In this section, let’s explore how a damaged winding mechanism can stop a watch from functioning. Also, find out how to tell if this is the issue:

Signs of a damaged winding mechanism

The winding mechanism of a watch is key! To make sure it works properly, regular maintenance is a must. It keeps the mainspring tight and in the right tension, which makes the gears turn and tell time.

Signs of a damaged winding mechanism?

  • Timekeeping inaccuracy
  • Cannot wind or hand-wind the watch
  • Watch movements are frozen or not working
  • Sometimes it just stops for no reason
  • Gears don’t move when winding or hand-winding

If you see any of these signs, get your watch to a qualified service technician quickly. They can diagnose the fault and recommend a repair solution. This could save you from bigger problems, like irreparable damage that’ll cost more down the line.

How to repair a damaged winding mechanism

When a watch stops working, it could be that the winding mechanism is damaged or misaligned. This may be due to wear and tear, shock, or mishandling.

If other repairs have been unsuccessful, you may want to try repairing the winding mechanism. This requires specific tools and is best done by an experienced watch technician or someone with experience in watch repair.

The steps to repairing a damaged winding mechanism are:

  1. Disassemble the movement: Take apart the movement of the watch, including springs and gears that have worn out, using tools for small parts.
  2. Replace any worn parts: Replace wheels, pinions, click springs, and ratchets (if needed) by yourself if you know what you’re doing, or with help from an expert technician.
  3. Reassemble: Put all the pieces of the movement back together following instructions from your service manual or based on your experience with specific watches. Make sure all components are aligned correctly.
  4. Check alignment of wheels: Make sure all wheels are aligned before reassembling. Tweezers or clamps can be used to adjust misalignments while they are still loose.
  5. Test winding mechanism: Manually turn the winding mechanism multiple times to make sure it functions properly before assembling your case back. Now your timepiece should be working again perfectly!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What are the most common causes of a watch stopping?

A1:The most common causes of a watch stopping include a dead battery, dirt or debris, a worn-out mainspring, or a broken gear.

Q2: How do I know if my watch battery needs to be replaced?

A2: Signs that your watch battery needs to be replaced include a slow or erratic ticking, a weak or flickering backlight, or a fading or non-existent display.

Q3: What is the best way to maintain my watch?

A3: The best way to maintain your watch is to regularly clean it, avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures, keep it away from magnets, and store it in a dry environment.